A friend of mine who is an airline employee often stays at this hotel when on a layover in Tampa. He advised me (I had already made the reservation without knowing he often stays here) of what to expect etc, which was of great help regarding noise, location, quality etc.
Having driven over from Orlando, we did have one or two problems finding the hotel. It was our own fault, as we turned off the highway one set of stop lights too early! Even a hotel car park security guard at another hotel advised us that he did not know of the BW Bay Harbor! However, we spotted the sign and had no problem from then on.
Check-in had a queue of approx 6 persons, yet only one member of staff was working at the reception desk. A 2nd member of staff did appear, but didnt help anyone immediately. On realising that we were not all in one party, he did apologise and started checking other clients in.
I had emailed the hotel in advance requesting (but knowing NO guarantee) for a quiet bay view room, and did receive a courteous acknowledgment in return. We were allocated a room on the 1st floor but next to the lift, which did clank a noise somewhat, but it wasnt annoying enough to complain about.
The room was obviously upgraded, and was clean and tidy. Like other reviews, I was surprised to see soap and shampoo dispensers in the bathroom - but realised this was for 'eco' reasons. I was also surprised to see the fridge/coffee making facilities in the bathroom - in the UK, electrical items like this would not be allowed.
There is a beach bar approx 50 yds across from the hotel bay side - and that evening their was a wedding reception being held. At times this was a little on the noisy side - and we were able to hear the DJ advise the wedding guests that the music would end no later than 11.30pm! It did finish before midnight, so their was no noise during the night.
Once checked in at the hotel, I did go over to Crabby Bills to make a reservation for that evening. The noise inside was almost deafening, so requested a verandah or outside table. We were lucky and given a table on the beach - dinner with sunset and fireworks was an added bonus. Considering the place was packed - especially with a couple of large groups of young adults - the service was fine.The coconut shrimp was most enjoyable. The price was $46.00 for the two of us - a little overpriced, but it meant we did not have to drive and search for somewhere to eat.
Check out was quick and easy considering the number of people departing. It was obvious a number were doing a pre cruise overnight stay - and there was also a coach party departing.
Yes - the location is a bit remote - the hotel beach and pool area is a little on the small side - but this is Tampa. If you want a full beach and large pool then head to the resort hotels in St Petes or Clearwater Beach! For a one or two night stopover I found this hotel perfectly acceptable for the price I paid. For pre cruise especially It was ideal. For those without car rental - there are shuttle van services available - but not operated by the hotel.
as a side note - I had an alamo rental car - that i had chosen to drop off at the Westin hotel close to Tampa port. I emailed Alamo on reservation requesting information on shuttle services from the hotel/depot to airport and port - and was advised that they did not offer any shuttle services at all. This information is wrong! they DO operate a shuttle van service to the port - which was quick and easy with no hassle at all!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the bay in Tampa, minutes from Tampa Bay International Airport (TIA), this full service hotel is available for your every need. Whether you are traveling to the Tampa Bay area for business or pleasure, The Bay Harbor Hotel can offer you convenient, comfortable accommodations at an affordable price. All guest rooms have open balconies/patios with views of the bay or the city. We offer complimentary wireless Internet, business center, fitness center and the heated outdoor swimming pool overlooking the bay. Volleyball and water sports are available adjacent to the beach bar. The on-site restaurant serves a variety of menu items with a full bar. We are less than an hour away from world renowned white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, a short distance from Busch Gardens(R), the Lowry Park Zoo, the Florida Aquarium, the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), the Salvador Dali Museum, the Ford Amphitheater, the Seminole Hard Rock(R) Hotel & Casino and the Cruise Port of Tampa.If you're here to visit a college or university, we are approximately an hour from both the Tampa and the St. Petersburg campuses of USF, the University of Tampa, Eckerd College, SPC and Florida Southern College. For sports fans, there's Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Steinbrenner Field and Tropicana Field, all within a short distance. For our guests here on business, we offer a variety of meeting rooms and facilities.Our bayside location makes a great venue for any social occasion. Sunset beachside weddings are our specialty. We can host wedding reception as well as the bride's maids luncheon, rehearsal dinners, family reunions, high school class reunions and service organizations. We can also host parties for special birthdays and anniversaries as well as holiday parties and quinceaneras. Our on-site staff event planners are available to assist you for any event. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Tampa